IOM Supports Ecuador in Fight Against Human Trafficking
Ecuador - IOM has launched a series of four-day workshops in Ecuador’s provinces to familiarize local authorities and NGOs with the country’s National Protocol for Integrated Protection and Assistance of Victims of Trafficking.
This week, IOM counter-trafficking experts are working with 35 participants are in the city of Ibarra. The workshop follows earlier events in the provinces of Chimborazo and Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas. In June and July similar sessions will be held in Otavalo and Lago Agrio.
IOM trainers are also reviewing current procedures to ensure a better inter-institutional response to the needs of the victims.
The National Protocol for Integral Protection and Assistance of Victims of Trafficking was designed in close cooperation with the Ministry of the Interior, the Inter-institutional Committee of the National Plan of Action against Human Trafficking, and civil society organizations. It is expected that the protocol will be adopted by the Ecuadorian government as the only tool to provide appropriate protection and assistance to victims of trafficking.
The protocol includes detailed information on providing protection and assistance, including timely and suitable referrals; intervention during a crisis; interviewing techniques; assisted voluntary return; and reintegration.
Since 2006, IOM Ecuador has provided direct assistance to 154 victims of trafficking, including nine foreign nationals. Of these five were helped to return to their countries of origin and four minors were reunited with family members in the United States.
IOM’s counter-trafficking program supported the design and implementation of the protocol and the country’s National Plan of Action against Human Trafficking.
During the first phase of the program (2006 - 2009) IOM created a registration system for human trafficking cases and developed a consular protocol for victim assistance and a pilot shelter program in the capital Quito and the south western city of Machala.
Since 2010, IOM has provided support to municipalities in the creation of Cantonal plans to combat trafficking in the towns of Lago Agrio, Santo Domingo, Ibarra, Cotacachi, Otavalo, Guamote and Colta. IOM also provides technical assistance to strengthen existing local networks.
IOM has also carried out nine research studies at city and provincial level, participated in the drafting of the Bi-national Protocol for Victims of Trafficking in Ecuador-Peru. It is also providing training to police and prosecutors investigating cases of human trafficking.
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